Trump under pressure in 2nd week of impeachment hearings
Tillerson says Trump actions \'wrong\' if proven
Tillerson says Trump actions 'wrong' if provenWASHINGTON, Nov 19: President Donald Trump faces more potentially damning testimony in the Ukraine scandal as a critical week of public impeachment hearings opens Tuesday in the House of Representatives.
Trump's suggestion that he might himself testify in the investigation which threatens his presidency had no impact on the House Intelligence Committee's plans to interview nine witnesses this week.
Most significantly, they include Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, who allegedly transmitted to the Ukraine government Trump's demands for help in finding dirt on his Democratic rivals ahead of next year's presidential election.
The hearings also include diplomats who have already testified privately that Trump and Sondland repeatedly pushed Kiev to open investigations into Democrat Joe Biden -- Trump's potential 2020 reelection challenger -- and withheld nearly $400 million in aid and a White House meeting requested by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as pressure.
House leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday in a letter to fellow Democrats that Trump engaged in "extortion and bribery."
"The facts are uncontested: that the president abused his power for his own personal, political benefit, at the expense of our national security interests," she said.
Trump, who faces becoming only the third president in US history to be impeached, tweeted early Monday that he is "strongly" considering testifying to defend himself against allegations that he abused his powers in seeking foreign help for the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson has criticized alleged actions that have triggered an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, saying using US influence for personal gain is "wrong."
Tillerson, a former oil executive who was unceremoniously fired by Trump in March last year, was asked about the scandal in an interview with the PBS Newshour broadcast Monday. -AFP